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High profile US peace and climate expert visit today

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Student Volunteer Army Foundation and the University of Canterbury Community Engagement Hub are today (Monday 25 February) hosting an international team of leading education experts whose specialities are climate resilience, multiculturalism and peace education.

The team consists of: Maya Soetoro-Ng, author, peace educator and co-founder of the Institute for Climate and Peace; Namji Steinemann, Director of AsiaPacific Ed in the East-West Center; Amanda Ellis, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute for Sustainability at Arizona State University; Maxine Burkett, law professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law and co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Peace; and Zelda Keller, program advisor at the Institute for Climate and Peace.

While in Christchurch, the team will visit inspirational post-quake sites such as the historical mural around the Convention Centre site, Gap Filler’s Dance-o-Mat, TÅ«ranga central library, the Transitional Cathedral, the 185 Chairs memorial, the Margaret Mahy Playground and Cultivate Urban Farm.

After exploring the city’s changing context, Dr. Soetoro-Ng will facilitate a roundtable discussion on leadership for social change with young leaders from local high schools and the University of Canterbury. Following the roundtable, team members from the Hawaii-based organization, The Institute for Climate and Peace (ICP), will facilitate a futures-inspired and action-oriented workshop entitled, Forging Climate Resilient and Peace-Oriented Leadership.

Associate Professor Billy Osteen, Director of the UC Community Engagement Hub, sees this visit as a fantastic opportunity to both showcase the innovation and creativity of post-quake Christchurch and to learn more from the visitors about what else can be done through education with regard to climate resilience, peace, and social change.

Sam Johnson, Chair of the Student Volunteer Army Foundation, was particularly excited that the team requested to do an event solely focused on high school and university students as this in alignment with the Foundation’s prioritization of supporting volunteer projects in primary schools and high schools along with ongoing connections with the university based club.

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